Monday, November 26, 2007

O Little Town of Tin Shui Wai

I rewrite some carols for Christmas in Hong Kong every year. Most of the time they are somewhat light hearted but I found myself in a darker mood today. The words don't quite fit on this one but it still sort of captures what I wanted to say. For those not from Hong Kong; Tin Shui Wai is a government housing development that is miles from anywhere and filled with poorly educated, immigrants from the PRC. It has a very high suicide rate and of late has had several horrific murder suicides. In one a mother used duct tape to bind her children's arms and legs and then threw them from a 26th story window before jumping herself. The governments response has essentially been to be a sounding brass and clanging cymbal.

I'll probably post a more light hearted carol in a couple of days.

O Little Town of Tin Shui Wai

O little town of Tin Shui Wai,
How still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep unemployed sleep
The silent stars drive by;
Yet the dark Mercedes hideth
The everlasting bureaucrat;
Whose hopes and fears for retirement years
Are fading as you die.
For children born of immigrants,
And gathered in one place
While parents work the siblings keep
their watch of indifferent love.
O buildings packed together
Proclaim the builder's greed.
In flats so small a barbie doll.
Would find them cramped and leave.
How silently, how silently
The wordless grief is given!
The hopeless lives of migrant wives
Their fate fixed for all time.
No ear may hear them falling;
‘till on the ground they lie,
Where hopeless grief collides with concrete
And all we can do is cry.

Where children bound hand and foot,
Pray simply be spared;
Their misery cries out to me,
Can we not do better by thee?
Where charity stands watching,
And LEGCO holds wide the door,
The dark night screams, the body breaks,
and the coroner comes once more.
O lonely child of Tin Shui Wai,
Descend not to the pavement, we pray;
Cast not out thy self but stay within;
Find some hope in life today!
There is be more for you than you see
More than the Donald Tsang could ever say;
For though it is true that he has ignored you
You don't deserve to die.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Christmas Caroling Blogger


Mike said...

Thanks for helping me to understand these forgotten neighbours of HK. We're visiting in 3 weeks and will remember Tin Shui Wai during our first time in the city.

Curiosity Killer said...

That's some dark satire lyrics. Thanks for putting it out there. Good job and merry christmas.